Wired vs Wireless Networking

Wireless networking is a great utility for mobile devices, but should not be the primary choice for office computers.  These best practices highlight the differences regarding security, quality of service, and common issues.

Best Practice: A wired network connection is always the most reliable and most secure internet connection. 
If utilizing a network connection for business, academic or research purposes, use a wired port instead of wireless whenever possible.  The advantages of using wired connections include dedicated bandwidth instead of having share with other users, less attacks of network traffic interruptions, and less susceptible to interference and outages than wireless access points.  Use wired ports for desktops and computer labs instead of wireless.

Best Practice:  When utilizing wireless networking, utilize encrypted/secure wireless whenever possible.
Open/unsecured wireless allows traffic to flow in plain text and can easily be "sniffed" or captured without the user's knowledge or permission.  Many free Wi-Fi spots do not use encryption.  Whenever using unencrypted Wi-Fi, do not access confidential information or applications storing confidential information.

Best Practice: Do not use wireless printers on shared networks.
Wireless printers are available to anyone on the wireless network and traffic sent to the printer can be captured by a hacker without your knowledge or permission or the hacker can access your printer's settings and make changes.  Wireless printers can also degrade wireless networking performance.  If you do utilize a wireless printer, power it off when not in use or if possible, connect it directly to your computer and do not use the wireless capability.

Best Practice:  Make sure non Wi-Fi based wireless devices operate outside the 2.4 or 5.8 GHZ ranges.
Be aware that most wireless devices (Bluetooth, cordless telephones, classroom controllers, etc.) can interfere with wireless computing.  If your non Wi-Fi wireless device utilizes the same range, it will not work correctly.

UNL Guidelines:
  • When logging into UNL Wireless - use the encrypted UNL-AIR-E SSID. 
  • When logging into EDUROAM, use your full email address - jsmith1@unl.edu (not just jsmith1). 
  • When connecting gaming consoles or other broadcast devices to the UNL network, connect the device to a wired connection first and before utilizing the wireless network to register the device .